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Robert James Fischer vs Eleazar Jimenez Zerquera
Havana Olympiad Final-A (1966), Havana CUB, rd 13, Nov-18
Spanish Game: Exchange. Gligoric Variation (C69)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 10.Ne5 is an elegant breaking of the pin.
Apr-29-05  lopium: I'm too weak to see the win by white! I see that white can take a pawn more, but no more.
Apr-29-05  Shams: <lopium> maybe Jimenez feared Fischer's legendary major piece + minor piece endgame prowess. the passed k-side pawns look terrible for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The game score is wrong, I think. Jimenez played 28...Rd7, not 28...Re8, so that in the final position the bishop was pinned and lost. Had Jimenez played 28...Re8, then it appears Fischer would have continued 29 d6 cd 30 Nb6, and I do not see an answer to the threatened Nd5.
Jul-06-05  JohnTal: After 31 ...Re8 32 Nb6 ... Rc7 followed by 33 Nd5 punches out Castro's crony.

From this website, he was +5-47=39 - is there a chess term syonomous with boxing's term (a tomato can) for a consistent loser to those on their way up the food chain of excellence?

Black's 21st is a real lulu. I suspect that EJ wanted to play 21 ...h6 followed by 22 ... g5.

If EJ wanted a draw against Bobby, how about 21 ... cd?

Jul-06-05  mr. Fried Liver: lopium, fischer wins by 31...Re8 (since must protect b) 32.Nb6, Rc7 33.Nd5 , and the bishop is lost.
Jul-07-05  JohnTal: Amazing how this stiff could be so bad yet play against so many of the great players in his "career".

For lack of a better word, maybe he was the designated tailender in every tournament he "competed" in.

Amazingly, he even conked out Portisch in game 85 of his (EJ) "collection".

He would have been better off waving his handkerchief to his opponent and saying "No mas" before making his first move. That way, he would get his resignation out of the way and then he could take chess lessons from his conqueror at the cantina.

Nothing like slurping mai tai's and margaritas, while inhaling Cohiba's over the Nimzo-Indian.

Feb-25-07  Knight13: Fischer crams Black in first and then cuts the weed with 29. d6!.
Jan-04-08  Eyal: 29.d6! is indeed a beautiful move - clearing the d5 square for the knight in the line 31...Re8 32.Nb6 etc., as well as preventing 31...Bb4, which would have saved the piece; that's why Fischer didn't play 29.Bxe7 Bxe7 30.Rf7 immediately.

<JohnTal: Black's 21st is a real lulu. I suspect that EJ wanted to play 21 ...h6 followed by 22 ... g5.

If EJ wanted a draw against Bobby, how about 21 ... cd?>

21...g5 is a weak move by Black, but still understandable - White threatens d6, so the purpose is to deflect the bishop from the h2-b8 diagonal. Thus, 21...h6? would lose to 22.d6 cxd6 23.Bxd6, and in view of the double threat Bxe7 and Nb6#, Black has nothing better than to give up the exchange with 23...Rxd6. And 21...cxd5?? is ridiculous, because black is mated immediately by 22.Rxc7+ Kb8 23.Rc8+! etc.

However, a better way to deal with White's threats was probably 21...Rf7, though after 22.Nc5 Black's position is still very difficult to hold.

Btw, in spite of all the mockery heaped in this thread on "EJ"s head, his overall score against Fischer wasn't so bad - he drew the 3 other games he played against him, including one from the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal where Fischer was at his very best (

Jan-23-12  Helios727: Why didn't black get rid of the d-pawn early with 24... Rxd5 ?
Jan-23-12  Shams: <Helios727> That move would be a blunder, allowing White to immediately justify his Knight on a4. Hence Black's <24...Kb8>.
Sep-27-13  Tjm50: The win after 31. ... Re8 has one more beautiful point: after 32.Nb6 Rc7 33.Nd5 Rc2+ 34.Kf3 the bishop, which was pinned along the 7th rank after 31.Rf7, is now pinned along the e-file.
Oct-20-13  thecrusher: JohnTal, I'm sorry to say, but I feel that your 2005 very negative comment regarding Eleazar Jimenez Zerquera's loss to Robert Fischer (XVII Olympiad of Chess. Havana, 1966) was unfair. I was there, watching the Olympiad, and I saw Fischer in person several times. Jimenez was playing on the first board for Cuba. Yes, Jimenez lost that game, but also Gligoric, Portish, Pomar, and others lost to Fischer in that Olympiad. Actually, Jimenez had an outstanding record with Fischer, considering that Jimenez was just an IM. He had a draw with Fischer in the 1960 Leipzig Olympiad. He had a second draw with Fischer in the 1965 Capablanca Memorial Tournament (the same tournament where Jimenez defeated the former World Champion Vassily Smyslov). Jimenez had a third draw with Fischer in the 1970 Palma de Mallorca Interzonal Tournament when Fischer was at the top of his game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Fischer includes some light analysis to this game as part of Fischer vs Gligoric, 1966, Game #56 of "My 60 Memorable Games." Both games were played at the Havana Olympic, along with Fischer vs Portisch, 1966, which Fischer also won - he went 3-0 with the Ruy Lopez Exchange in this tournament.

In his notes to Fischer-Jimenez, Fischer comments after 12. Rxd1 that "Black should hold the ending, although he found a way to lose". He questions 17...g6?, saying 17...Ng6 is correct. His comment after 21...g5? is "cracking under the pressure - 21...Rf7 is more sensible (the move suggested by Eyal).

For those belittling the play of Jimenez in this game, well, Portisch and Gligoric also lost to Fischer's Ruy Lopez Exchange in this tournament, and more decisively.

Jan-02-14  SChesshevsky: <OBIT: For those belittling the play of Jimenez in this game, well, Portisch and Gligoric also lost to Fischer's Ruy Lopez Exchange in this tournament, and more decisively.>

Those guys probably do deserve a break. The RL Exchange wasn't exactly common in those days at the top GM level.

Once the opponents saw Fischer play it, they knew he had it down and when they felt they lost the feel of the position they probably also knew they were busted. The performance might be considered more of a great psychological attack by Fischer than anything over the board

Oct-24-17  machuelo: Good comment by the Crusher. I dot not think that any IM got 3 draws of 4 games against Fischer.
Apr-10-21  Chesgambit: Only game Fischer win aganist this guy

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